Roman Style Mass Chasuble
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Gothic Style Mass Chasuble
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The Epistle appointed to be read during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass today is taken from Saint Paul's Epistle to the Philippians, Chapter 4, Verses 4-7.
Brethren: Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men. The Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous; but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Gospel for Gaudete in Domino Sempter Sunday
The 3rd Sunday of Advent
Please stand for the Holy Gospel.
Thus far are the words of today's Holy Gospel.
Please be seated.
In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen.
You will also notice how the rubrics call for the use of Rose-colored Vestments today because the penitential spirit of Advent is somewhat relaxed. In other words, it is as if the Liturgy is telling all of us to lift up our heads to see that we are almost at the end of Advent and the great joys of Christmas will be with us very soon. But this only explains in part why God the Holy Ghost, through the pen of Saint Paul, is telling all of us today to rejoice - in other words to be filled with joy and happiness.
To the people of the world the phrase Rejoice in the Lord must sound strange? Why? Because worldly-minded people, because they are shallow and materialistic, are unable to understand the real spirit of joy which Catholics have. Why? Because Catholics, who are faithful to the authentic Apostolic Tradition, live their lives according to the principles and precepts of the Holy Gospel. In so doing, such Catholics not only have integrity, but have a Faith that gives them Hope, Joy, Happiness, and Peace of heart and mind because our Holy Catholic Faith teaches all of us that God IS Charity, that God IS infinitely Merciful, and that God’s Providence does all things well. But this is just the beginning because our Holy Catholic Faith also teaches us that Jesus Christ is our Redeemer Who reopened the Gates of Heaven which had been closed to everyone by Original Sin.
But, IF we were not Catholics, we would know very little, if anything, about all of these beautiful Truths. IF we did not know these things, consider how miserable and unhappy we would be and how depressed we would feel. The Catholic Church furnishes us with the necessary means for our reconciliation with God as well as for our purification, sanctification, and justification.
But because we are Catholics, all of us should Rejoice and be happy because, no matter what else is going on in your life, when you focus on your life from the standpoint of eternity, you have every reason to be joyful and to be happy because it is ONLY by the Catholic Church, which is to say by her unchangeable doctrines, and by her means of salvation, that makes it possible for you to rejoice, to be joyful, to be happy, even though you live in a world which is truly called a valley of tears.
What do We mean when We say when you focus on your life from the standpoint of eternity, you have every reason to be joyful and to be happy? We mean that you should imagine yourself in eternity - in other words, fast forward to your future life. When you look at your current life from the perspective of eternity, you realize that whatever problems and difficulties you might be having now, that in eternity these same problems and difficulties are then seen as the opportunities they had been for you, while you had still been in this valley of tears, to grow Spiritually.
In other words, when viewed from within the context of eternity, you will thank the good God for permitting these things to happen to you because by them you can get a much higher place in Heaven! Some people wrongly think that because God permits us to suffer a variety of problems and difficulties that He is sadistic or mean! On the contrary, such things are a proof of His love for you! But how can this be? Is this not a contradiction?
In one of his books, Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., quoted from the Dialogue of Saint Catherine of Sienna (#78. Chapter 166):
“God Himself declares this Truth: ‘Nothing has ever happened and nothing happens save by the plan of My Divine Providence. In all things that I permit, in all things that I give you, in tribulations and in consolations, temporal or Spiritual, I do nothing save for your good, so that you may be sanctified in Me and that My Truth be fulfilled in you.’ It is the same Truth which St. Paul expresses in his Epistle to the Romans: And we know that to them that love God, all things work together unto good, to such as, according to His purpose, are called to be Saints [Romans 8:28].” (Reverend Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. [b. Auch, France 1877 A.D. - d. Rome, Italy, 1964 A.D.], who taught Dogmatic and Spiritual theology for 53 years at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Angelicum, in Rome, The Three Ways of the Spiritual Life, Chapter 2: The Second Conversion: Entrance into the Illuminative Way).What does this mean in plain English? In nature, both physical and Spiritual, there is a natural cycle of growth. Remember back to when you were fairly young and your bones hurt because they were growing as you were becoming taller? There is a term for this. It is called: growing pains.
But just as with the physical human body, so also with spiritual human Soul, there are transition periods from one age or level to the next. Just as there are physical growing pains, so also there are Spiritual growing pains. Just as you did not die from your physical growing pains, so also you will not “die”, so to speak, as the result of your Spiritual growing pains. Just as your physical growing pains were a source of joy and happiness for you because you understood that this was an indication that you were growing physically, that your physical body was going through a cycle of maturing, or growing from one age to the next, so also the same is true for your Spiritual growing pains which are an indication that you are growing Spiritually, that your Spiritual human Soul is going through a cycle of maturing, or growing from one Spiritual age or level to the next, and this knowledge should likewise be for you a source of great joy and happiness.
“It can neither profit me, the speaker, to speak, nor you, the hearers, to hear, unless we comply with the things which are spoken, ...so let us not limit the display of our zeal to hearing only, but let us observe what is said in our deeds. For it is indeed a good thing to spend time continually in hearing the Divine oracles: but this good thing becomes useless when the benefit to be derived from hearing is not linked with it.” (Patriarch Saint John Chrysostom [b. Antioch, c. 347 A.D. - d. at Commana in Pontus on Friday, September 14, 407 A.D.], Patriarch of Constantinople [Thursday, February 26, 398 A.D. - Thursday, June 24, 404 A.D.], exiled from his See the 2nd time on Thursday, June 24, 404 A.D., Father and Doctor of the Catholic Church. Sermon on Romans 12:20; emphasis added.)
For our resolutions, let all of us, by the Grace of God, firmly resolve to remember how the materialistic joys of this world are only an illusion because they are usually very fleeting, while the joys of faithfulness to God are not artificial but real, and they bring peace of mind and Soul - that peace which the world can not give.
Your supernaturalized joy and happiness will stay with you during all of the many changes and varying circumstances in your life because they are based upon your rock-solid Catholic Faith from which rock springs forth an inexhaustible fountain of peace, joy, happiness, and consolation, or, as Saint Paul, citing Exodus 17:6, reminds us, the rock is Christ (1 Corinthians 10:4), Who, being God, is the Eternal Unchangeable.
The bottom line is:
IF you really desire to be able to rejoice always, remember that the key to doing this is to strive, by the Grace of God, to always be a Faithful Catholic because to Faithful Catholics does the Prince of Peace give the only True and lasting peace as God the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, comforts you, while Our Lady of Mount Carmel continues to continuously keep her mantle of protection around you, a mantle that protects you by deflecting all the proverbial slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (William Shakespeare [b. in April 1564 A.D. at Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England - d. on Saturday, April 23, 1616 at Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England], The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark [1604 A.D.], Act III, Scene I, Elsinore - A room in the Castle, Hamlet’s soliloquy) in this valley of tears as you steadily and securely climb the one and only path - found only in the unchangeable Catholic Church - that leads to the euphoric Blessedness, and continually fresh happiness and joys, of Heaven - God!